Category Archives: San Diego Padres

Veterans Day and Every Day ….. Thank You!

Note:  This is a repost of my 2010 Veteran’s Day Blog.

Arlington National Cemetery

“But the mainstay of the big leagues was the reservoir of 4-Fs – males of draft age who had been rejected on physical grounds by the Armed Forces. Not since harem attendants had gone out of style were men’s physical deficiencies so highly prized. Ulcers, hearing defects, and torn cartilages were coveted by team owners.” – Frank Graham, Jr. in Farewell to Heroes (1981)

This and the following list of Hall of Fame Members Courtesy of  Baseball Almanac.

Baseball Hall of Fame Members  who Served in the Armed Forces.
The Civil War  
Morgan Bulkeley United States Army
World War I
Grover Alexander  United States Army
Happy Chandler United States Army Continue reading

2012 MLB Team and Player Salaries

2012 All Star Game Photo

Here’s the 2012 update to our 2011 listing published August 27, 2011.  This comes to us compliments of USA Today.  If you’ll click the individual teams, you can access the individual players salaries.  It will be interesting to note the annual salaries of the teams that make the playoffs;  in other words, did they get what they paid for?  For example; the Washington Nationals have the best record in the Majors this year, but have the 11th Lowest Salary out of 30 Teams.   Salary Chart Linked Here

2012 MLB Salaries  
 

TEAM

TOTAL PAYROLL
New York Yankees $ 197,962,289
Philadelphia Phillies $ 174,538,938
Boston Red Sox $ 173,186,617
Los Angeles Angels $ 154,485,166
Detroit Tigers $ 132,300,000
Texas Rangers $ 120,510,974
Miami Marlins $ 118,078,000
San Francisco Giants $ 117,620,683
St. Louis Cardinals $ 110,300,862
Milwaukee Brewers $ 97,653,944
Chicago White Sox $ 96,919,500
Los Angeles Dodgers $ 95,143,575
Minnesota Twins $ 94,085,000
New York Mets $ 93,353,983
Chicago Cubs $ 88,197,033
Atlanta Braves $ 83,309,942
Cincinnati Reds $ 82,203,616
Seattle Mariners $ 81,978,100
Baltimore Orioles $ 81,428,999
Washington Nationals $ 81,336,143
Cleveland Indians $ 78,430,300
Colorado Rockies $ 78,069,571
Toronto Blue Jays $ 75,489,200
Arizona Diamondbacks $ 74,284,833
Tampa Bay Rays $ 64,173,500
Pittsburgh Pirates $ 63,431,999
Kansas City Royals $ 60,916,225
Houston Astros $ 60,651,000
Oakland Athletics $ 55,372,500
San Diego Padres $ 55,244,700

               

There are no Constants in Baseball ~ It’s a Fickle Game

Ichiro’s been on my mind today.  I don’t even have to use his last name.  Everyone knows who he is.   It’s not really a surprise he’s leaving.  He’s been with the Mariners for a long time and we knew he was  destined for other things in the near future.  But I never thought in a million years he’d end up a Yankee.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but there’s just something so unsacred about the  idea of it all.

Back in 1962,  I was given an assignment in my business college marketing class to interview someone in business and to make a proposal or suggestion to them on how they could improve their business.   Most of my classmates chose their dad or another family member to interview.  I chose to interview the General Manager of the Portland Beavers, an AAA-Affiliate of the Kansas City Athletics.   I was 18 at the time.

I was obsessed with this project and spent a lot of time on it and the fact that I’d actually gotten the interview was more than my young years could fathom.   I knew before I made the trip to the ballpark what my proposal to the GM was going to be.   Attendance at the ballpark had been very low the past year and I thought it would be a great idea to have the organization offer a “Ladies Night” once a week,  with free admission to all the ladies.  I thought there was a good possibility it might not only get the wives there with their husbands but possibly the entire family, thereby increasing concessions also.

When the day arrived for my meeting with the GM I was really excited, not only about the interview but also of  maneuvering my way through Multnomah Stadium to the Administration Offices by myself,  with my very own written proposal in hand.   The manager was very cordial and listened with intent to my proposal and thanked me for my interest.   When the interview was over, it lasted about an hour, he gave me  complimentary game tickets  and invited me to keep in touch.  It was a wonderful day.  I got an “A” in Marketing that year.

A few weeks later, complimentary tickets in hand,  I invited some friends to attend a game with me and, honestly,  I felt like I owned the place.  I felt like a VIP and the experience is just as vivid today as it was 50 years ago.  The Portland Beavers maintained nearly a 103 year presence in that city but on September 6, 2010, they played their last game at the hometown park.  The city was making room for the Portland Timbers, an MLS  Soccer team.  Portland no longer has a baseball team.  The Beavers continue today in Tucson, Arizona, as a Triple-A affiliate with the San Diego Padres.

The point I’m trying to make is that baseball’s a fickle game.  There’s no constants  in baseball.  The managers change, the players change and sometimes even the hometown locale changes.    Usually we adapt, but  it isn’t easy. To tell you the truth I still miss Cody Ross.  He was with the Giants for such a short time, but while he was here his presence was huge.

Ichiro Suzuki

And for sure the Mariner fans are going to miss Ichiro.  You could sit in the nosebleed section of the bleachers in right field and, without hearing the announcer,  know it was Ichiro at the plate.   He had this way of holding his bat, butt handle  straight up as if he was holding a rifle with a precision periscope on it, sizing up where he was going to slam the ball with the next pitch.

Ichiro’s an artist.  And I’m going to miss him too.  Does this mean I’ll have to start watching the Yankees again?  If last night’s Mariner-Yankee game  is any indication, it could happen.  Baseball’s a fickle game you know.

Pondering the Padres at Petco Park ~

San Diego Trolley

Southern California is beautiful this time of year, and San Diego is no exception. This past week, for the first time ever,  I finally made it to Petco Park and watched the  San Diego Padres take on the Texas Rangers.  Public transportation is great.  Being from a smaller town I’m not used to having it, so when it’s available I take advantage.  This time it was  on the Coaster train from Oceanside to San Diego, and then a little jaunt over to the trolley,  which practically rolled right into the park!  There was no charge for the trolley, which should be an incentive for game-day fans.    Unfortunately, I ended up with two game tickets, but since I was by myself I kept the other ticket so I’d have room to set all my paraphernalia right next to me.  I soon found out that wasn’t necessary.

The seats in the entire row next to me, the row in front of me and the row behind me were practically empty,  with the exception of a smidgen of patrons.   This was a Wednesday game, 3:30 start time and the weather was beautiful.  The park was beautiful.  It’s just really sad to see all those empty seats in a ballpark.

Military Presence Everywhere

So I’m pondering why Petco Park and a lot of parks nationwide are having so much trouble getting the fans to attend.  There was a large military presence at this particular game.  I wondered if they had been comp’d and, if so, how much money the park is actually making or losing on each game.   This is the 18Th ballpark I’ve visited and I’ve seen it before.   And it doesn’t necessarily coincide with whether the team’s winning or not.  I remember back in 2010 the Padres had a really good team and lead the Division most of the year, but still weren’t able to fill the park.

I really like Petco Park.  I had the feeling I was on top of the action, no matter where the play was going on.   The Padre mascot paraded around the field in his traditional flowing garb and was totally entertaining.  But I enjoy watching the game and one thing I found a little irritating was the great big field scoreboard so busy showing the fans and antics going on in the stands they rarely took time to show the stats of the game.   This was much to the delight of the fans I might say, but when I’m busy taking lots of photographs, usually 100-125 each game, I sometimes lose track of the count, outs, innings.  It would be nice to be kept in the loop on these things.  At home with the telly this is never an issue.  I’m usually keeping score anyway but for sure the game stats, box scores, etc.,  are usually there on the screen at regular intervals.

“Petco Park, San Diego”

About the game ~ the staff and fans at the ballpark were great.  Great sportsmanship from both sides and the ones who were there, were knowledgeable and understood the game, always a plus.  San Diego actually lead for a while. Yu Darvish, the Rangers’ pitcher, left the game a little earlier than he would have liked,  and Josh Hamilton wasn’t able to smack one out of the park for a change, so it appeared that maybe the Padres might be able to pull this one out.  But in the end the Texas Rangers who are having an amazing season (it’s  the pesky World Series that gives them trouble) won the game.

“A Whole Lot of Empty Seats at Petco”

On the trip back to the condo, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen to that beautiful ballpark if the owners were to sell and move the team to another city.  It happens.  What a waste that would be for the San Diego Padres fans.   And I wondered, if the local fans knew this could happen, if they might be more inclined to show up for the games.

Just wondering ….. a beautiful ballpark is a terrible thing to waste.

Capitalism Alive and Well in Baseball!

“Courtesy of Money Ball”

Last week I was perusing the San Francisco Giants website looking for tickets.  I  settled on two $46 tickets in the Premium Lower Box section, went through the hoops and hit the button only to find that the $46 tickets were now miraculously $150!   Here’s the Disclaimer that was shown on the page:

“Market pricing applies to all tickets. 
Rates can fluctuate based on factors affecting supply and demand.  Lock in your price and location today!”

What the heck is that all about?  I mean if you list something for a certain price shouldn’t that be the price you pay for it?   I’m just as much in favor of capitalism as the next guy, probably more so, and I’m not an attorney,  but shouldn’t this be considered false advertising?

I understand having different prices for different games.  For example,  a June 4th game between the Giants and the Dodgers is priced at $56 for a lower box seat but a game on August 3 between the Giants and the Padres is only $32 for the same seat.   I get it.  Nothing wrong with that.  But to buy a ticket advertised at a specific price and then find out “at checkout” that it’s three times the price you agreed to pay for it 10 seconds ago?  I don’t think so.  I wonder if other teams are doing this.  Ticket prices  should be published at the beginning of the season and remain the same throughout that season, or at least until you get a chance to click the purchase button.

“AT&T Park not the only game in town” Photo Courtesy of Gerald Carpenter

Needless to say, I cancelled the order I was working on and instead I’m flying down to San Diego in June to watch the Padres and Rangers at a price we agreed upon.  Okay, I realize with the air fare, hotel, meals, etc.,  it’s going to cost me a fortune.  But this is a protest purchase you know?  And it’s the principal of the thing.  I mean how many times do I have to keep paying for Zito’s salary?  Enough already.

One bright spot in the week.  We received an email from the Oakland A’s a few weeks ago offering $12 Field Level tickets on Mother’s Day.  And that’s exactly what they cost.  These were great front row seats, beautiful weather, friendly fans, and extremely friendly vendors and staff, and a beautiful pink rose to boot!  Needless to say, we’ll be back.

And we’re flying to Seattle and attending a Mariners game week after next.   If this is perceived as being disloyal, so be it.  I love my San Francisco Giants but I love baseball even more and I’m going to the games one way or another.

Like I said, it’s the principle of the thing.

Dodgers Maintain MLB Lead (with a little help from their friends) ~

"The bunt that started it all"

Last night the Dodgers beat the Padres 5-4 with an incredulous triple play that ended the game.  The particulars of that triple play are what’s in question here.  I watched the video over and over again and there’s no doubt in my mind the plate umpire ruled a bunt ball as “out-of-bounds” wherein the Padres ceased play, went back to their bases, and play should have resumed with another pitch.  But that’s not what happened.  Instead, the Dodgers kept playing as though nothing had happened, as though no call had been made, as the Padres went back to their business in disbelief because, according to their version, and what I saw on the video, it should have been a dead ball, and the batter should have returned to the plate to take another pitch.

Now, I’m as happy as the next guy to see something good finally happen to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  This team’s been run through the mill these past few years and now it looks like they’re finally getting their act together.  I mean the last time the Dodgers got off to a start like this they ended up winning the World Series.  Here’s the article, video included, that has everyone (well, almost everyone) in a stew.  See what you think!

San Diego Padres Cry foul over Triple Play Call.

Best Food at the Ballpark in 2012? ~ You Decide!

"Strasburg: Last year's version with butterflied hotdog on top"

I found a great little ditty this morning at the Washington Post.  The Nationals are going to highlight special food from the visiting team’s home town each time they play in Washington.   I recommend you take advantage of  San Francisco’s special food “Garlic Fries” this year, especially since the Giants will be playing at Nationals Park on the 4th of July, and not just because they’re our namesake, but because they’re really, really good!

But for sure you gotta love the special food presented by the Washington Nationals this year, honoring their special pitcher, Stephen Strasburg.  I hear it includes 12 pickles, representing the twelve strike-outs the Stras got in his first outing.   Great article written by Dan Steinberg, from the Washington Post.

Nationals Park introduces 8-pound ‘StrasBurger’

By , Washington Post  Posted at 02:06 PM ET, 03/12/2012

 

The new 8 lb. Strasburger includes fries and a coke! Courtesy "Yardbarker"

(Marvin Joseph – TWP.) As the baseball season approaches, you know what that means on this here blog: lots of updates on the concessions available at Nationals Park.

Our first update concerns the Red Porch, and a brand-new menu item that will get lots of attention from media and fans: The StrasBurger. Via my favorite friends in Nats PR:

Weighing eight pounds total (including toppings), the StrasBurger is a monstrous all beef burger (combination of ground brisket, chuck and short ribs). The burger is served on a large burger bun with our secret sauce, American cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced red onions, pickle chips and served with a cone basket of fresh cut fries and a pitcher of your choice of soft drink. This signature dish is the perfect entrée to share at this affordably-priced family restaurant.

In case you missed the key phrase, this burger WEIGHS EIGHT POUNDS TOTAL, which is a lot of pounds. Even if some of them are onion pounds. Every TV station in this market will have hosts merrily attempting to grapple with the StrasBurger next month. At least, I hope so.The Red Porch will also feature special food and beer pairings that will spotlight area brews, including those from Dogfish Head and Flying Dog. Any time I get to type “Dogfish Head,” I consider that a win.

Also, the Taste of the Majors stand — which has spotlighted a few items from other MLB cities — will now feature a special dish from the city of each visiting opponent while they’re actually in D.C. Those items will all be limited time only offers, obviously.  The list:

Atlanta:   Smothered Fried Chicken Platter
Baltimore:  Pit Beef Sandwich Platter
Arizona:  Dog Platter
Chicago:  Dog Platter
Cincinnati:   5-Way Cincinnati Chili
Colorado:  Mile High Burger
Houston:  Houston Nacho
Los Angeles:  Dog Platter
Miami:   Cuban Dog
Milwaukee:   Beer Brat Platter
New York (Mets and Yankees):   Coney Dog Platter
Philadelphia:   Philly Chicken Cheese Steak Platter
Pittsburgh:   Pitts Burger Platter
St. Louis:   BBQ Rib Platter
San Diego:   Fish Taco Platter
San Francisco:   Garlic Fries and Shrimp Platter
Tampa Bay:  Salty Dog Platter

Geez, this is all making me hungry!  Only 23 Days to Opening Day ~  See you at the ballpark!